Obama's EPA breaks pledge to divorce politics from science on toxic chemicals

By David Heath

To the delight of industry, the EPA is completing fewer chemical assessments than ever before.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… sound arcane as a presidential priority, but it was a big deal at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Political interference from the Bush White House had delayed or derailed …"

States continue war over Obamacare

By Fred Schulte

State lawmakers at odds over hundreds of bills to either cripple or prop up Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… Barber, managing director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics in Helena, Montana, said “we know it (Obamacare) is “being debate …"

Georgia earning a name for justice in a new way

Counties in the state demonstrate new ways to help kids involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… BA in addition to her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia — she practiced law for several years in Kentucky. While she liked her w …"

Guess who's behind 2015's first super PAC?

By Michael Beckel

Curiously, it’s not the anticipated group backing a Jeb Bush presidential run.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… A super PAC called “We the People, Not Washington” registered with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, according to new documents released by the agency. Its treasur …"

'I felt like I was getting pelted with excrement': Readers weigh in on political ads

By Sarah Whitmire

We asked readers if they found political TV ads to be informative, here's some of what they said.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Connecticut":

"… section of your submitted thoughts here. From Karla Dalley of Farmington, Connecticut: It got so bad that my husband and I actually joked about them ads and m …"

New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia

By Kristen Lombardi

Jarrett McElheney grew up near a cluster of petroleum storage tanks. His parents believe benzene in drinking water gave him cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "oil refineries":

"… He’s not among the hundreds of thousands of people who toil in American oil refineries or other workplaces contaminated with the chemical and run the risk of dev …"

"… benzene and 68 other carcinogens spewed into the air by the nation’s 149 oil refineries. The EPA has proposed a rule that would require refinery operato …"

Election 2014 by the numbers

By Michael Beckel

A new Center for Public Integrity money-in-politics index highlights key facts about the most expensive midterm in history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… , on average, sponsored by outside spending groups: 38 Percentage in North Carolina’s Senate race: 55 Chance that a Senate-focused TV ad sponsored by a cand …"

"… th Dakota’s Senate race: 61 Percentage of positive TV ads aired in North Carolina’s Senate race: 18 Number of key Senate races in which “dark money” …"

"… tic-aligned dark money groups have aired more ads than GOP ones: 0 Amount North Carolina’s two major Senate candidates have raised as of mid-October: $32 million …"

"… utside groups have told the Federal Election Commission they’ve spent on North Carolina’s Senate race: $76 million Ratio by which Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., …"

U.S. Senate races to attract 1 million TV ads

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Super PACs, nonprofits help fuel relentlessly negative messaging in U.S. Senate races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Greg Orman":

"… Sen. Pat Roberts is being challenged by independently wealthy independent Greg Orman — the Democratic candidate dropped out of the race in early September …"

Power shifts to outsiders in U.S. Senate fight

By Michael Beckel

Battle for control determined in large part by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire and South Dakota, according to a Center for Public Integrit …"

"… ng processed by the government. Nevertheless, some races stand out. Take North Carolina, for instance, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican ch …"

"… ore ads from groups that are neither candidate committees nor parties than North Carolina. Of the 90,000-plus Senate-focused TV ads that have aired in the Tar Heel …"

North Carolina's state of political hate

By Dave Levinthal

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is the nation's nastiest — and few are particularly friendly affairs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Greg Orman":

"… Pat Roberts, a Republican, is battling against independent challenger Greg Orman, proved to be equally negative in its TV messaging. Only 9 percent of the …"

Secretive groups spend millions to influence state elections

By Reity O'Brien

Nonprofits hit TV airwaves with attacks on state-level candidates, gaining traction since the U.S. Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… cement Alliance of America, another Virginia-based nonprofit was active in Michigan’s state supreme court and attorney general races in 2010. This time, it …"

Democrats seize air supremacy in Senate battlegrounds

By Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel

Liberals aired more TV ads last week than their conservative foils in seven of the nine top Senate battlegrounds races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… embraced the political spending freedoms created by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision of 2010, said John Carroll, a mass communications professor at Bo …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "sheriff":

"… was stealing the money.” Capt. William Lawhorn of the St. Lucie County sheriff’s office said that inmates are charged a $25 initial booking fee, $3 a d …"

"… he spent months driving around upstate New York, pitching JPay to “every sheriff, whether they had five inmates or 100 inmates” — without success. The …"

Senate Democrats lead TV ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired more TV ads in key Senate races last week than any other group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… ther spender last week in the Senate races underway in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to Kantar Media/CMAG. The campaigns of Sen. …"

"… 200 TV ads last week. That’s one ad about one ad every nine minutes. In Louisiana, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s campaign sponsored about 1,300 TV ads l …"

"… ver it takes,” said Johanna Dunaway, a professor of political science at Louisiana State University. “We are seeing tons and tons of ads.” Republicans n …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Education":

"… said the protest letter, signed by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and …"

"… litary hardware for school police include the Children’s Law Center, the Education Law Center, the National Center for Youth Law, the Advancement Project — …"

Mitch McConnell revs ad machine

By Michael Beckel

Kentucky’s embattled senior senator has aired roughly one campaign ad every five minutes since Labor Day.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… s of groups have flourished in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that loosened campaign spending rules for companies. Gen …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… a dozen states, with the battlefield stretching from Alaska to Colorado to North Carolina. Democratic candidates and their allies have aired more TV ads to date th …"

"… to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. Republican candidates a …"

"… nwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against strong Republican challengers. And hotly c …"

"… chamber of Congress during the final two years of Obama’s presidency. 1) North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is running for re-election against Republican s …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Wall Street Journal":

"… e networks as unreliable and costly.  In a June 19 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, and Royce …"

Democrats embrace 'McCutcheon' decision

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Ahead of high-stakes battle for the Senate, Democrats create massive fundraising group blessed by contentious 'McCutcheon' decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… and “stand against” McCutcheon and the 2010 campaign finance ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to make unlimited expenditures for or against …"

Gun rights debate enters a new arena: the campus

By Wade Millward and Carmen Forman

The right to carry a firearm onto college campuses has become another issue in the gun control debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… concealed carry of guns. Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — and now Idaho — have laws on the books that allow students to concea …"

Evolution of public-carry laws expands gun rights

By Kristen Hwang and Kate Murphy

Public-carry has moved from rare to widespread in the wake of recent shooting incidents

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… ered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University Number of states that prohibited concealed carry in 1981 …"

"… nto my side,” said Lee Bird, owner of Twin Birds Saddlery in Wickenburg, Arizona, 60 miles northwest of Phoenix. Bird openly carries a .38 Smith & Wess …"

"… ly carry, sometimes he keeps his gun concealed in his briefcase or pocket. Arizona has some of the strongest gun rights laws in the country. It is one of sev …"

Pat Roberts' merry band of boosters

By Dave Levinthal

Outside groups are using the power of positivity to help save career of Kansas' longtime U.S. senator.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pat Roberts":

"… s, where groups attempting to save the political career of Republican Sen. Pat Roberts have invested big money in warm fuzzies designed to repel a primary challe …"

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal government":

"… ether people will actually shop for the best deals remains to be seen. The federal government recently announced that most folks who enrolled in coverage through the ex …"

Is this super PAC subverting disclosure rules?

By Michael Beckel

Georgia's GOP Senate primary has attracted big money from a super PAC funded by two nonprofit groups tied to an Ohio lobbyist.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… t's spent more than $2 million on ads boosting businessman David Perdue in Georgia's contentious Republican U.S. Senate primary, has come from two "social we …"

"… isclose their own donors renders federal disclosure laws meaningless." In Georgia, the Citizens for a Working America PAC has touted Perdue as a "conservati …"

Bush bundlers boost pro-Gillespie super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Co-chairman of U.S. Senate candidate's finance committee also helps bankroll supportive super PAC.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… Association and Republican Attorneys General Association. Paul Bennecke, a Georgia-based political consultant, also serves an adviser to the We Can Do Better …"

Outside money pouring into governors races

By Ben Wieder

Dem, GOP associations are spending more than double as much on governors' races in the 2014 cycle than at the same period in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rick Snyder":

"… ly ads, including in the Michigan race that pits incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder against presumed Democratic challenger Mark Schauer. Snyder has been atta …"

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… case.” The 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Court in terms o …"

Limited liability companies power West Virginia super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Group funded by limited liability companies boosts West Virginia Republican Alex Mooney.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… ril. Since super PACs sprang to life following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporate super PAC contributions have been relatively rare, with …"

Toomey discloses trip after inquiry

By Michael Beckel

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey failed to disclose a March trip to an exclusive, 'off-the-record' conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… setting.  Republican politicians such as former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Go …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Finance":

"… fact the stake was lower, said Guy Cecala, the CEO of Inside Mortgage Finance, a newsletter that tracks the industry. The rule would have affected only …"

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